Aechmea spectabilis Click thumbnails for full size, scaled to a new window.
Artwork from Revue Hortico of Aechmea spectabilis.
Notes from the SA Bromgaz Volume 30, Number 02, by Derek Butcher.
"And so to the plants! Len was in raptures over a plant that Bob McGregor had brought in. It was huge at about 1m high and Bob had confided in me before the meeting that he would like to bring a big plant into the meeting with only half a label! Many thought it was a Portea because of the open inflorescence and the slender pedicels (stalks that the flowers are on). My first guess was Aechmea spectabilis. It seems it was one from a seedling batch where Len Colgan had got the seed from Venezuela. All other seedlings had died over time except for plants sent to Grace Goode and Ruby Ryde and both duly flowered. The one kept by Len seems to just offset. So here we had one seedling that had got used to Adelaide conditions – albeit 15 years – AND had flowered. We ask Bob to take care of the offsets because it is a clone worth propagating in Adelaide. I would suggest that another 15 years wait for next flowering would be somewhat reduced. But you will need a bit of space to grow it!! It comes from low altitude in Venezuela which if you look up your atlas if quite close to the equator and it is a surprise that it can grow here without extra heat in the winter."